Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I was told that taking Hwy 6 from Provo to Moab was nice, flat and an easy way to get from Point A to Point B. Highway 6 went through a beautiful canyon, up over the top of surrounding mountains, through miles of 2-lane, harrowing, highway construction and finally down onto the deserts dotted with flat-top mesas.
Did I mention that Hwy 6 is also the short-cut used by all the 16-wheelers in Utah to get between I-70 and I-80? But I made it - white knuckles and all - and arrived in the very cool town of Moab, where I planned to stay 3 nights at the
Moab Rim RV Campground. I figured this would be enough time to take in both Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and then head south to Monument Valley and Mesa Verde. But you just never know what can or might happen - and a couple of things have happened that are really cool!
First, the owner here at MRC immediately started talking about perhaps I might like to stay and help them out until I had to be in Albuquerque. They were really interested in what I could do to help up-grade their campground management software, their website and maybe teach the rest of their staff a class in customer service. Jim's wife was visiting their daughter and grandson but she would be back in town before I planned to leave and he really wanted me to meet her. I said thank you - it was really great that they would like me to stay but .......
The second - and you aren't going to believe this one - I've met someone. No, not standing alongside the road or in Moab. Bob & Janie, who had been my 'neighbors' in Cody in July for 2 weeks, had told me many times and lots about their good friend John. He was a widower, played golf, retired, great sense of humor and they thought he would be just perfect for me - and I for him! I didn't think much about it until a week after they got back to KS I got an email from this John, introducing himself. We starting emailing each other, and then actually talking on the phone until he said he thought that we really should meet in person - and he was willing to drive to Moab. A man willing to drive 918 miles one-way to meet me - and what if we didn't even like each other? I said sure, I was willing to take a chance if he was - and to pack his golf clubs!
John arrived on Friday afternoon and just left today. We had a blast! We laughed so much, had so much in common, we climbed rocks, drove miles through Arches, Dead Horse and Canyonlands parks, took pictures at sunrise and sunset, talked for hours and both broke 100 at the Moab Country Club. I found out that Cody the Cat doesn't like anyone else in his/our space but me and was thrilled John was here to run into town to get a big tank of compressed air when we discovered that Winnie's driver's side tire was almost flat, and he got to see me 'stressed' when I had to throw everything quickly in drawers, unhook and drive Winnie into the tire shop on a dicey tire before they closed for the day. (Thank God, only a broken valve and no need for an expensive new tire!) We grocery shopped together, grilled together and the man even sat in the laundromat while I did a couple of loads of dirty clothes in anticipation of departing Moab. John is a big man with a huge, fun personality, a totally bald head, and a very gentle soul. And yes, we've made plans to meet up again on my trip back East and play another round of golf - or two.
And last night, after getting back from the tire shop, Sue, wife of the Jim the owner and 'she who knows all' came over and said please, please, please can you just stay until the 28th! All the free time I want to travel around the State, work a few evening hours and help them out where I can. I realized with John's visit that I had completely blown my Grand Circle/Lake Tahoe/Sacramento itinerary and would never now be able to do all I had planned in the less than 2-weeks I had until I had to be in Albuquerque. So I said 'why not?' John and I went out to breakfast in town. He headed home to KS and I came back to learn the ropes of my 'new job.'
I will now just leave Winnie parked and take off for Monument Valley and Mesa Verde, both easy day-trips. Since I can take 2-3 days off at a time, I'm thinking that I will drive over to the other side of the state and see Bryce & Zion and treat myself to an overnight stay in a hotel!
As you can see from the pictures I've posted, this part of the country is so very different than the Midwest or even Wyoming. It's the very red of the rocks and dirt, the wide-open stretches of land dotted with massive and unusual rock formations, as if thrown down at random by someone with a wild imagination, the heat and wind that brings back memories of every Western movie you've ever seen - most of which were filmed here! Even the golf course winds around massive rocks - making some of the shots you have to make so 'fun!'
Well, it's almost time for me to wander across the campground and work my first 'shift' - from 4 till 7. Tomorrow I'll make plans to drive to Mesa Verde or maybe Monument Valley or play golf again at the local course - we'll see what look like the most fun tomorrow!
Until the next time....take care of each other.